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Europe’s Best Beach and the World’s 6th: La Concha in San Sebastián, Basque Country

La Concha beach in San Sebastián, Spain was named by Tripadvisor the best beach in Europe and the sixth in the world.

 

One of the many beaches of the beautiful city of San Sebastián in the Basque Country, north of Spain, La Concha stands right in the centre of the city. Wide and elegant, the beach with a nice shell shape (hence the name) is flanked by a promenade decorated with elegant Art Deco railings and lamp posts, and leading directly to the best hotels of the city, plus numerous bars, restaurants, spas and sports clubs.

 

 

 

 

La Concha beach has a length of 1350 meters and an average width of 40 meters, depending on the tide, as the Atlantic Ocean tide strongly influences the size. The beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and paddling, due to its extensive size. Since the bay is surrounded by mountains, it also quite protected against wind and high waves, but sometimes you may surf here as well. La Concha is also the place for the annual regatta of traditional Basque boats.

 

 

In the 19th century, La Concha beach was the place where Queen Isabel II came for her bath therapy, following the doctor’s recommendations, thus San Sebastián automatically turned into the summer residence of the Spanish royal family. Soon, other European royals came to spend their summers in this beautiful city. The royal residence, Palacio de Miramar, still towers over the bay. You can go and visit the public garden of the palace and enjoy some majestic views over the Concha bay from there. Also the long, higher located promenade with its elegant white fence and the gracious clocks and street lanterns give the Concha beach the grace and fame that it deserves. It offers you a beautiful walk and little benches with spectacular views over the bay. Visitors from all over the world come here to take and pose for pictures.

 

 

 

Another major feature of the bay is its island: Isla Santa Clara (photo above). With a small beach, a quite unusual lighthouse, several paths with picnic tables and a bar with seaside terrace, as well as its own natural swimming pool with sea water, the island is reachable by boat but also by swimming.

 

 

Photos: Ioana Paunescu

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